Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)
Morgan, Carrie E.
Our public schools, pp. 145-150 PDF (1.7 MB)
r -~-~--- .- - rrrr -ru _w"g7uw fl WISCONSIN FARM EBB' INSTITUTE. ate and patient. Surely the teaehers cardinal virtue is patience. School Officers If there are essential qualities in the good school-teacher, there are also essential qualities in the good school officer. We need our best citi- zens in these positions. We want not only good clerks and good financiers, but men who know something of school-work, and above all who are interested in it. It is a source of sin- cere regret to many schooi officers that their business requires so much time, that they cannot give to school affairs the attention they would glad- ly give. Correct knowledge of the state of affairs in our schools is absolutely necessary to the proper action of a school-board, and by correct knowl- edge is not meant the exaggerated re- ports of offended school-children, nor the complaints of angry parents. There are always two sides to a story. When personal investigation en the part of school-boards is impossible, the teacher's story and the reports of supervising officers should be weighed in the balance with current rumors. In the selection of teachers lies the most important and the most difficult duty of the school board. The care of finances is an important one, but the proper disposal of pub- lic money affects merely the pocket-books of the people, while the selection of fit teachers af- fects the minds and morals of the ris- ing generation. The Best Are the Cheapest It is a well-known fact that there are to-day more teachers ready for positions than there are positions to fill. With this the case there is no excuse for hiring an unfit teacher. This is sometimes done through a false sense of economy on the part of school-boards. Of two applicants the cheaper one is often taken and as a result cheaper work is obtained. To is true or co -w i mu in 11t in true ox cours WLbIu nu MAuwU competition, that our beat teachers are often forced to work at low sal- aries, but this should not be so. Good teachers deserve good salaries. There is no class of workers in any field more conscientious, more industrious, more unselfish than good school- teachers. The progressive teacher recognizes the fact that she must work to keep up with the times. With our Normal schools and colleges crowded with would-be teachers, those who are already in the field or desire to enter it must redouble their efforts if they wish to keep well to the front. The lazy or Indifferent teacher de- serves to be crowded to the wall. Politics in School Affairs. In some places school management is happily f-ee from political corrup- tion, in others it is a slave to it. In some cities in our own state, we are told, the schools are entirely in the clutches of politicians and a political change in administration means a decided change in the schools. No principal or superintendent not eon- forming to the required political code is allowed to remain. Surely such a state of affairs is disgraceful. The evil effects of such a system upon the public schools can be appreciated only by cities suffering from such slavery. Other cities are more fortunate. School officers are chosen not for political reasons, but because they are believed to be fit persons for the place. Any person voting for school officers for other reasons is guilty of doing great injury to the schools. Grounds for Disisal There are but four legitimate rea- sons for the dismissal of a teacher,- failure in teaching, failure in discipline, lack of health that seriously interferes with school work, or proof of a charac- ter that has a bad inflaence over the school. When dismissals are made for personal or political reasons, 146
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